Universal-backed Wikileaks docco to shoot in Melbourne

Documentary producers seeking sources to discuss early 90's Melbourne scene...

A documentary crew are looking to interview people who remember the Melbourne BBS and hacking scene in the late 1980s, early 1990s.

They're coming to Melbourne in a few weeks to film.

I've seen one of their documentaries before: Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, and it was pretty good. I've had a chat with the producers and it seems unlikely to me that the docco will be a hatchet job.

That said, I don't know these guys from a bar of soap, I can't make any guarantees as to their professionalism or ethical conduct.

They've asked me to assist them in finding some sources who can talk about the Melbourne "scene" in the early 90s.

I agreed to post a direct message from producer Alexis Bloom (below) on this blog because, as a journalist, I think it's important for producers of documentaries like these to have access to sources that can provide them with accurate information and context.

If you feel you can contribute or you'd like a bit more info, get in touch with me for the producer's contact details. Patrick at risky dot biz.


I'm a documentary film producer at Jigsaw Productions in New York. We’ve made films like Academy Award-winning "Taxi to the Dark Side," and "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room."

In essence, we're a small, independent production company that tries to call truth to power -- that takes a stand against corporate greed, military overstep, and bad governance.

You can read more about our films here: http://www.jigsawprods.com/
(Apologies for website, which is being updated.)

We've been commissioned by Universal Studios to make a documentary featuring WikiLeaks, and the ideas connected to it. I know many of you probably think this subject’s been done to death -- and so did we, at least initially. Then we started to realize that the coverage out there has been pretty thin -- the big picture is missing. And some of the reporting's been mystifyingly wrong.

We want to use WikiLeaks as a springboard to explore key issues such as information security, digital privacy, and government transparency in the 21st century. It's not a Julian Assange biopic. It's not a Bradley Manning biopic either.

Of course, part of the story of WikiLeaks deals with its protagonists, and how they came to hold the ideals that drive them today. Character is not incidental to narrative, and with Proff in particular, the years he spent in the vibrant Melbourne scene are important in terms of understanding his later goals and ideals.

We've been talking to hacker collectives in Boston, in Berlin, and in the UK. It's clear that each country has its own incubator of ideas – and Melbourne in the late 1980s and early 1990s strikes us as a pretty pioneering, interesting place, with its own distinct character. BBS's were obviously a big part of all this.

Dispel the stereotype of hackers as video-gaming, pornography downloading isolationists. We're looking for people who remember the energy of the scene. The exploration. The fun. We living in a time when non-traditional actors are giving the suits a run for their money, and we want to capture a sense of the spirit.

Our film will be distributed by Universal, for wide release in theatres.

With many thanks,

Alexis Bloom